Elden Ring director and designer for FromSoftware Hidetaka Miyazaki has said that he’ll be stepping back from the development of Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon. In a recent interview with IGN he expressed his desire to approach the series as a fan instead of a developer.
Rather than continuing his role as a lead designer as many expected, Miyazaki told IGN he plans to hand the reins to Masaru Yamamura. Yamamura is known for his role as the creative director of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, a Soulsborne style game set in a fantasized historical Japan.
The Armored Core franchise is FromSoftware’s older but lesser known franchise compared to the “Soulsborne” series which includes the likes of Elden Ring, Dark Souls, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, and Bloodborne. The franchise began in 1997 on the original PlayStation and enjoyed an era of rapid releases with over 20 games, expansions, and DLC packs in less than 20 years.
In fact, Miyazaki’s first directorial role with FromSoftware was when he worked on Armored Core 4, three years before Demon’s Soul would release. It’s not a stretch to say that his career was made with the Armored Core franchise and even with the runaway success of the company’s Soulsborne games; Armored Core enjoys a dedicated fanbase that exists to this day.
Armored Core 6: Flames of Rubicon was a surprise announcement at this year’s The Game Awards and is a return to a franchise that fans worried was dead. They would be forgiven for thinking so, as it’s been roughly 10 years since the last release in the series. Armored Core 5 released in 2012 and Armored Core: Verdict Day the latest game in the series came out a year later in 2013. Since then, FromSoftware’s releases have been consumed by the Souls franchise and similar titles.
Due to the length between releases and the domination of the Souls series, some fans couldn’t imagine FromSoftware making a game in a different style. Rather than an action RPG, the Armored Core series is generally more of a mech pilot simulator, with customizable robots and tactical mission oriented gameplay.
Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon doesn’t have a firm release date yet, but FromSoftware has announced a 2023 release date for the game on Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Windows PC.